ATM organiser says show is ‘on course’

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) insists regional uncertainty isn't derailing preparations for Arabian Travel Market 2003.

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By  David Ingham Published  February 20, 2003

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), which organises Arabian Travel Market, is the latest company to sound the ‘business as usual’ call. RTE says that this year’s version of the region’s largest travel and tourism show is “well on track to be the biggest show to date.”

“It is safe to say that, to date, the uncertainty in the region has not affected Arabian Travel Market,” said Matt Thompson, RTE's
group exhibition director for overseas events.

RTE says that with a couple of months to go before ATM, which will be held May 6-9 at the Airport Expo Dubai, the show is already 5% larger in terms of square metres than last year’s event.

“Much of this space growth is taken by tourism boards which are increasing the size of their stands to meet demand from the private sector,” explained Thompson. “Moreover, we are welcoming a number of fresh exhibitors to the show with new national pavilions from Saudi Arabia and Canada and the return of a Ugandan national pavilion after a break of seven years.”

A campaign to bring in visitors has begun in earnest. “We recently started our visitor promotional campaign and the early indication is that our pre-registration figures are on track to match those of last year,” he said.

To date, exhibitors from 47 countries have registered for ATM 2003, including destinations, tour operators, hotel groups, national tourist boards, travel technology providers, airlines, industry associations, yachting and cruise operators and tourism consultants.

“Everything is going to plan,” said Thompson. “Of course, we are monitoring events in the region very closely, and, like everyone, we sincerely hope that tensions do not escalate.

"However, if they do, I believe that we will have some fallout from the show, which is understandable. But I do not believe that it will have a truly detrimental effect on the event.

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